It’s funny. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I had all these dreams and hopes of the person my daughter was going to be. I thought about all the pictures we would drawn and all the hide and seek games we would engage in. It was going to be perfect. There was just one thing that I didn’t think of. My cute, perfect daughter having a mind of her own.
Trust me, it’s not like I wanted a robot but my daughter’s personality is one that is a bit of a challenge for me. She is a super strong willed and stubborn child who makes the most simple requests (like don’t touch the blinds) into a big deal with yelling, screaming and me having to discipline her. If it was me as a child, the simple warning would have been enough. No not my child. For example with the blind, I simply asked her not to touch them. There was no yelling on my part or anything like that. I just asked her not to touch them. What did she do? She ran right back over to the blinds with her little hands behind her back and touched it with her toe. I then rolled my eyes because now this was going to be a fight that really didn’t mean anything except that she wanted to show that she was in charge.
So I gave her a little discipline and told her what would happen if she didn’t it again. This time she ran back to the blinds and put her hands behind her back. I was praying that she wouldn’t do it. I didn’t want to follow through on what I said but these acts of defiance have been getting worse so I have had to change my tactics with her. Sure enough, she didn’t touch it with her hand or foot, but rather she leaned forward and touched it with her nose. Now I had to do something. This wasn’t just a two year who didn’t know they were doing. She knew full well what the command was and twice disobeyed it.
After we had a discussion in her bedroom about her actions and why mommy was having to do what she was about to do because mommy loved her, we came out and I prayed that was the end of it. Nope! Now it seemed my child was on a mission more than ever to do everything opposite of what I said. And, in the end, there was a blind casualty. Half hour after the whole thing started, and many more timeouts and such later, she gave in and stopped touching the blinds.
I don’t get her mind set. I am an oldest so I like to follow the rules and do as I am told so that I don’t get in trouble. Technically my daughter is an oldest but not really – she is an only child. They are a whole new breed. I keep reading books on strong willed children and some things help but other things are a total waste of time.
Now you are probably thinking – she said that we need to praise God for strong willed children? And it is true! I do praise God for my child’s personality. It may not be a lot of fun to raise at times but it has its good points too. My daughter is confident in herself, she can stand up for herself, and she can provide for herself. All of these traits will come in handy later in life as she goes into the real world and grows into an adult. My job is to whiled that strong will for good and not evil. Some days I know I do a terrible job and have totally missed the mark. There have been days I am so frustrated that I have my own tantrum in the living room while my daughter is having hers. There have been days where I have not shown my daughter the love of Jesus because I yelled and screamed at her out of frustration.
The point though is that this isn’t all there is meant to be in parenting strong willed children. My sister was one of these children that would make her life goal to drive my mother insane. I lost count of how many spankings she would get and it seemed to drive her up and not down. My poor mom didn’t know what to do, and, then a miracle happened, my sister turned into this wonderful adult. How did that happen? We don’t really know sometimes because it didn’t seem like she was taking any of my mom’s direction to heart but she was. And I have pray that my daughter is too.
It’s not all bad. Some times she can go a couple of days without an episode but when she has one right now it can last an hour. But we have so much fun otherwise. Now that she will be two in a couple of days, there’s so many things that she can do now that makes life fun. She is talking more and that is making life easier too. There is a lot of good! I just have to hold onto to those good times when we are in a season of not so good times. And some day, I will get to see the fruit of my labor. She will be a well rounded adult and society will get to see her fire as she goes on to do great things.
Do you have a little fire ball? Feel free to comment below on things you have done to direct them in the way they should go 🙂